Tekken: Anna Williams Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

Koto continues to challenge my finances and shelf space with their never ending flood of Bishoujo Statues. I’m now pursuing these on four fronts: Marvel, DC, Street Fighter, and Tekken, and I’m falling a few statues behind. There are actually a couple Tekken statues I’m missing, but given the high prices on the secondary market, may end up writing those off. Anyway, Today I’m pressing on with my fifth statue in the Tekken series: The younger of the two Williams sisters, Anna.

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The packaging is right in line with what we’ve been seeing. Koto uses a black box to distinguish the Street Fighter and Tekken lines from the Marvel and DC ones. While Anna has appeared in just about every Tekken release to date (excluding Tekken 4), the package is branded, as usual, with the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 logo. You get windows on the front, top and right side panels allowing a pretty good look at the statue. Instead of a future release, the back of the box simply offers a look at Nina Williams, no doubt trying to capitalize on the odd rivalry between the two sisters. A rivalry that usually ends up with Nina taking a surprise polaroid of Anna coming out of the shower, Nina pulling off Anna’s bikini top in front of a bunch of dudes, or Nina stealing Anna’s shoes and then pretending she doesn’t know anything about it. What’s that? Oh yeah, we’re talking about a fighting game franchise.

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Anna dons a stunning red dress with a gold liner and a rather large bow on the small of her back. She’s either caught in mid twirl or standing in a wind tunnel because there’s a convenient breeze blowing her dress up to the side and accentuating the high slit and showing off a generous amount of thigh. If that’s not enough to get your blood pumping, there’s also an ample amount of cleavage on display through a boob window that would make Power Girl jealous. The dress features a nice glossy sheen both to the red outside and the gold liner and is contrasted by the matte red of her detached sleeves. Damn, Anna, your caboose is PUNISHING that dress!

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I really dig the pose here. With her right hand behind her head, she’s beckoning with the left, possibly inviting her next sparring partner to come at her. The placement of the legs, one straight out and one bent back is perfect to accenutate her long legs, heels, and stockings.

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Speaking of stockings, Koto really seems to be all about the fishnet stockings lately. They first employed it with their Zatanna statue and again with the new Black Canary. Anna’s stockings are quite spectacular, fashioned from super thin stread in a honeycomb pattern and running from her thighs all the way down into her shoes. It’s actually pretty neat the way they run under the plastic ankle straps. The seams on the backs of her legs are a little thicker than one might expect, but they’re still rather tidy and don’t get in my way of enjoying the statue. The whole ensemble is “held up” by sculpted garter straps.

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The portrait here is just lovely. Anna sports a perfect little smile and the wind blows her short hair up to the side. The paint on the eyes and lips is immaculate, but then again it always is on these pieces.

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The base is the typical circular clear disk that we’ve been seeing all along on the Tekken statues. You get three different inserts to decorate it with. The options are colorful character art, a signature insert, or a 20th Anniversary logo, which is a new option. Lately, I’ve been going with the character art.

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I picked up Anna for around fifty bucks, which is a great deal for a Bishoujo these days. Even with about 30 of these statues in my collection, Koto never fails to impress and every time I open one of these is a treat. And yes, she looks fantastic on display next to her sister. Thankfully, I’m going to get a little breathing room now (at least as far as Tekken goes), as the next statue isn’t due to ship until the later half of the year. I should also note that it’s Lucky Chloe from the upcoming Tekken 7 release, and I haven’t decided yet whether she’s a pass for me. I may just take that money and invest it toward tracking down Emily de Rochefort. In the meantime, I have a couple of new DC Bishoujo’s on their way to me now and Street Fighter’s Sakura just landed on my doorstep a couple of days ago… then Poison is shipping soon… Lady Deadpool is almost out… They’re doing Tali from Mass Effect… Oh yeah, Sniper Wolf from Metal Gear Solid… Jeepers!

DC Comics: Zatanna Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

There’s no better testament to how backed up my receivings pile is than the fact that I’ve been sitting on this unopened Bishoujo statue for so long. Normally that would be true for any of Koto’s ladies, but in this case I’ve been waiting for Zatanna to appear in this line since the day I started collecting it and that was almost thirty statues ago.

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We’ve seen Koto’s Marvel and DC Bishoujo boxes here many times and it’s still a treat. The statue comes in a white box with plenty of Shunya Yamashita’s wonderful art and some shots of the statue itself on the back. You get windows on the front, top, and side panels to let you look at the actual goods as well. The statue comes nestled between to clear plastic trays and everything is, as always, collector friendly. I would probably build an accent wall out of all my empty Bishoujo boxes if they weren’t all different sizes.

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You also get a little teaser of the up and coming Black Canary release. I’m really going to have to clear some more shelves for this collection. But enough with the preamble, let’s get this gal out. There’s virtually no assembly required. Just place the wand in Zatanna’s hand and she’s all ready for display.

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I’ve had a thing for Zatanna for as long as I can remember. Is it the fishnets and heels? The tight frilly top and jacket? Maybe it’s just the whole package, but whatever it is, this statue hits all the right points. Zatanna stands on one leg with the other foot kicking back, she’s turning to one side and holding out her top hat in her right hand while her left hand flourishes her magic wand over her head. It’s a positively perfect pose for this magical lady and I don’t think I would dare change a thing.

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The sculpted outfit is one of the more elaborate ones we’ve seen in either the DC or Marvel comics ranges of this line and Koto really went wild on it. Her white blouse features the frilly front and french cut sleeves, accompanied by dainty white gloves. The tight yellow vest is tugging at its buttons and the jacket features a red rose on her lapel and the coat tails licking up behind her. What’s more each layer of her clothing is sculpted to hang loose independently and display a lot of depth.

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From the waist down we get her iconic fishnets (yes, real ones!) and a pair of black thigh high boots. Now, far be it from me to question Koto’s design, but the one thing I might have changed on this statue would be to nix the boots and display her fishnets down to a pair of heels. I’m guessing, however, they did what they did to to minimize the fishnets. With that being said, the fishnets look great, with a rather neat seam running down the back of her legs and avoiding the pitfalls Mattel had with these types of stockings in their DC action figures. And hey, the boots look dead sexy and great, it’s just a matter of personal taste.

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The portrait is everything I’ve come to expect from this line. Zatanna is adorable and features razor sharp paint apps for her blue eyes and red lips. The hair is also an exceptional sculpt, splaying out in all directions. This may be one of the line’s best coifs!

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The base is a simple gold disc with a “Z” embossed on it in a rather Art Deco style. It’s classy and it looks great, much like Zatanna herself! This is one of the few examples where the statue is not readily removable from the base, as her one foot is actually screwed in there.

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I paid a straight $65 for this lovely lady, which is on the high end for my Bishoujo fix, but then I’m not messing around and waiting for them to become scarce either. Besides, when you look at what sixty-five bones is buying you these days when it comes to collector statues, the craftsmanship on display here still makes it a solid value. And yes, I’m still very much behind on my Bishoujo pick ups. Sakura from Street Fighter and Tekken’s Anna Williams are still calling to me. Gotta get on that…

Marvel Comics: Wasp Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

Kotobukiya continues to have their sites set on my wallet as they released no less than four Bishoujo statues in the last month or so. Marvel, DC, Tekken, Street Fighter, all the franchises have been represented and I’m dying over here. So far, I’ve picked up today’s statue and Zatanna, which I’ll look at next week, and I’ll likely be picking up Sakura and Anna Williams in the next couple of weeks. But for now, let’s check out the lovely Ms. Van Dyne…

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As usual, Koto’s comic based Bishoujos come in a white window box, decked out with the wonderful artwork of Shunya Yamashita, which inspired this piece. You get a great look at the statue inside the box and while the wings are detached, they are mounted in the tray to mimic how they will look on the statue when displayed. I’ll let you all in on a little secret. Janet was one of my first comic book crushes and I blame her for my lifelong attraction to chicks sporting a pixie cut. Wings have always been optional.

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The back of the package features some shots of the statue along with a little blurb about the character and the Bishoujo line itself. Everything is collector friendly, which is frustrating because it makes me save the packages and by now I have half a closet overflowing with my Bish Boxes. Also, Lady Deadpool from Deadpool Corps is coming soon. God dammit, Koto. You play rough. Wasp comes out of the package already attached to the base, so all you have to do is plug in those wings and she’s good to go.

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Oh yeah! Wasp is pretty adorable to begin with, so she was just made for this line and the design team obviously had a lot of fun with her. She’s sporting a playful, whimsical pose with one toe splashing down in a pool of water and the other foot kicking up behind her. Her arms are raised with palms out and fingers in a mischievous little flourish, her wings jut up behind her and she looks over her shoulder with an exuberant face that would light up the darkest dungeon of any secret AIM base.

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Janet is donning her modern costume, which is basically a skin-tight black bodysuit with the gold pattern cupping her breasts and running down to her nether regions. As far as costumes go, this one didn’t require a lot of detail, but I will say that I love how the pattern on the front of the costume is more than just slightly raised, When coupled with that sumptuous gold paint, which also appears on the insides of her gloves and the souls of her feet, this makes for a simple, yet quite striking piece. The paint is immaculate and contrasts beautifully with the slick, glossy black finish of the rest of the suit.

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The wings are also beautifully executed. They’re cast in a sturdy transparent plastic, which is nice because I had concerns about them being fragile. the top edges are neatly painted black along with the stems that come out from the suit. The wing membranes have a wonderful iridescent shimmer about them that catches the light to produce a myriad of colors.

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The portrait is lovely and again reinforces how well the character works in the Bishoujo format. Her short hair is sculpted to look a bit tussled and I’m still noting the lack of Koto’s age-old trick of using transparent plastic near the edges. I always liked that, but Wasp’s hair is so short here that it didn’t really need it. Her big beautiful eyes are precisely painted as are her lips. Her mouth is open and you can even see a row of sculpted teeth in there. Lovely!

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Also, lovely. Damn, Mr. Pym, you were a lucky man while it lasted.

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I’ll confess that while it’s nicely executed, I find the base rather puzzling.  I’m not sure why they decided to go with water, other than maybe to provide a medium to show her in flight and just barely touching down. The sculpting on the splash, and the subsequent ripples, does add a bit of energy to the piece. It might have been cool to have gone with something that would have put her shrunken form in context. Ah, what am I saying? This is a gorgeous piece, and I shouldn’t be nitpicking it.

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There are times when I think Koto has to work a little harder to make some characters fit the Bishoujo aesthetic, but The Wasp is one that is such a no-brainer that I’m surprised it took them this long to get around to her. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get this statue ever since the concept art was first revealed and in hand, she does not disappoint at all. I nabbed her via a pre-order for around $60, which is toward the higher end of what I usually pay to get my Bishoujo fix, but I feel like the value is still there. And with the way some of the few statues I’m missing are climbing in price on the secondary market, I’ve been less interested in hunting for bargains and more willing to drop pre-orders and not worrying about missing out. In the next week or so, I’ll swing back around and check out Zatanna, another lady that I’ve been desperately waiting to see make an appearance in this line.

Tekken: Nina Williams Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

Collecting Koto’s Bishoujo statues these days is like trying to keep your head above water. The releases are coming fast and furious and if you don’t keep up you’ll die in a watery grave. Actually, no you’ll just have to pay a lot more for what you missed out on through the secondary market, because most of these statues, particularly in the Tekken series, shoot up in price like crazy as soon as they’re discontinued. Yes, sadly, I have to face facts that there’s at least one Tekken gal that will probably never land on my shelves for this very reason, (I’m looking at you, Alisa Boscono!) and I’ll probably eventually lay down the $80 or so bucks that Jun Kazama is going for these days. I didn’t want that to happen with Nina Williams, because she’s been my gal ever since I first played the original Tekken.

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Nina comes in a rather compact window box. Don’t forget the Tekken pieces are scaled slightly smaller than Koto’s other Bishoujo lines. The box is black, features the Tekken Tag Torunament 2 logo and some great shots of the artwork by Shunya Yamashita, which inspired this piece. The back panel has some shots of the statue, a little blurb about Nina and a teaser image for the next release, which just so happens to be Nina’s sister, Anna. Inside the box, Nina is wrapped in plastic and secured between two clear plastic trays. She comes attached to her base and all ready for display, but I found it easier to remove the base to get all that plastic off of her. Thus far all, or at least most, of these statues have been from characters introduced later in the series, but Nina’s been around as long as the franchise has and even starred in her own game on the PlayStation 2, Death by Degrees, which shipped with a Tekken 5 Demo Disk. This gal has done it all!

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And here she is in all her glory. she’s caught turning around and winding up for a lethal side kick. Koto loves showing off the balance on these pieces with the girls often posing on only one leg and these are often my favorites. This one in particular works really well from multiple angles, either with Nina looking straight out from the display shelf, or kicking off to the side.

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In keeping with the theme of this series, Koto went for Nina’s modern look. I believe she first wore this outfit in Tekken 5 and she’s been donning this as her Player 1 outfit ever since. She’s wearing a two-piece purple camo tactical suit (because… video games!), which allows her to show off a little mid-riff, with the top belted to her bottom in the front and back. The pants include integral high-heeled boots, wrapped with belts, silver reinforced plates on the interior of her legs, armored knee-pads, and a sheathed combat knife strapped to her right thigh. Her top is a bevy of straps and belts with long sleeves, thick gloves, and bare shoulders.

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Nina’s portrait is a thing of beauty. She wears a sly smile on her perfectly painted lips with her pretty eyes glancing off to the side. Somebody’s about to get a whooping! Her blonde hair is cinched in a ponytail with strands framing her face and blowing every which way. Interesingtly, Koto seems to be shying away from the transparent hair effect in some of their current pieces. I’ve always been a fan of that look, but I can’t say as I really miss it here.

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The coloring on this piece is overall rather soft and muted, even with the crazy purple camo pattern on her tactical suit. Even the metallic silver used on her legs isn’t the super shiny stuff that Koto likes to use. You do get some high gloss purple on the insides of her legs near the knees, the back of her collar, and some more used on the soles of her boots. The paint is immaculate with plenty of silver used on the buckles and rivets holding her straps together. As always the skin tones are perfect.

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The base consists of the simple clear disk we’ve been seeing on all the Tekken pieces. While I find these are tough to keep free of fingerprints, I appreciate the economy of space they present. As always, you get a number of graphical inlays that you can put inside the base to customize your statue. I do believe I’ll end up going with the character art.

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I have to admit, when I started collecting the Tekken Bishoujos way back in 2012, I never imagined Koto would keep it going this long. What’s even more impressive is that the line ran for three whole years before releasing a primary character like Nina Williams. That right there was probably a sign that they were in it for the long haul. I grabbed this statue for the ridiculous low price of $45, which is practically unheard of these days, but even at the full retail of around $60ish, I think she’s well worth the money.

DC Comics: Batwoman Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

What time is it? Time for more Bishoujo of course! With Koto now running Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel, and DC lines of these wonderful statues it’s getting harder and harder for me to keep up. And in the world of Bishoujo statues if you don’t keep up, you’re likely going to be paying for it later when you’re hunting down discontinued pieces. To that end, today I’m checking out Batwoman, a character that I have very little history with but simply couldn’t resist having on my Bishoujo shelf once I saw the preview images. Besides, it’s hard to resist a red head in a tight leather bodysuit, even if she does play for the other team.

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As we’ve seen here many times before, the comic inspired statues come in white window boxes chock full of colorful artwork by Shunya Yamashita along with some pictures of the statue itself. The boxes sizes vary based on the pose of the statue inside, but in this case we get a pretty big box to incorporate this one’s bold stance. Batwoman is nestled between two clear plastic trays and everything is totally collector friendly. which is why I quite literally have a closet full of Bishoujo boxes. There’s no assembly required as Batwoman comes permanently attached to her base and all ready for display.

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The back panel of the box has a blurb about Batwoman and like I said, I don’t encounter her a lot in my funnybook reading adventures. The last time was probably in the 52 run back in 2006 and before that you’d have to go all the way back to the early 80s when I was reading a lot of comics from the 70’s and that was a different version of the character altogether. And not to upstage Ms. Kane, but Koto went and put a teaser image for the next Bishoujo and it is indeed Zatanna. I’ve been waiting for her to get the Bishoujo treatment for a long while and she is easily my most anticipated statue right now. Sorry, Kate, back to you now.

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If there’s ever been a fine example of me not having to be too into a character to enjoy a statue, this is it because this piece is drop dead gorgeous. I mean, y’all know that this line can practically do no wrong by me, but I was still taken aback by just how beautiful this statue turned out. There’s a lot of things going on here to gush about, but I’m going to go with what strikes me first and that’s the colors. Granted, there’s precious little diversity here, just a black body suit and crimson accents, but the black and the crimson go together so indescribably well. It’s like my eyes are having sex right now. But not with each other. Because that would be creepy.

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The entirety of Kate’s bodysuit features a high gloss “new car” finish with a slightly less lustrous finish used for the red boots, gauntlets, belt and bat symbol. The cape switches things up with a matte black finish for the outside and a slightly more glossy crimson finish for the interior. I used to think the black and gold of Batgirl’s costume was the snazziest thing I’ve ever seen, but Ms. Kane here trumps it easily and a lot of that is due to Koto choosing just the perfect shade of crimson and the right balance of matte and gloss for this piece. Have I said it’s gorgeous yet? It’s gorgeous! I also love how Koto just busted out the silver paint for those two tiny shoulder clasps on the cape.

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Of course, the pose is quite spectacular too. Batwoman has her legs in a wide stance with her weight tossed to her left hip, her head cocked to the left while regarding her open palm. Meanwhile she swooshes her cape around her with her right hand. Koto has done some remarkable things with capes in this line before, but holy hell is this great. It adds a lot of energy and excitement to what is otherwise predominantly a cheesecake pose. And that’s what I call great composition! It also doesn’t hurt that she’s moving it out of the way so we can get a clear look at her hinder. Mmm… Bat Hinder…

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And that brings us to the portrait and to me this one is all about the hair and the lips. Kate’s lush red hair blows behind her forming some perfect little curls and with one wave of strands passing under her chin. The angular mask with the whited out eyes looks great and her tiny lips are just perfect.

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Ah, but the fine folks at Koto also included a bonus unmasked portrait via a swappable head. The optional head features some sharp paint for the lovely emerald eyes and red lips and she’s sans wig and sporting her shorter, but still red, hair. This is killing me, because I think this head looks great on the statue, but I’m still going to have to go with the masked head most of the time and it’s a shame to relegate such a fine portrait to the box. Sometimes options are painful.

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As always, the Bishoujo line keeps me guessing when it comes to the base designs. You literally never know what you’re going to get. In this case we get a simple oval base painted metallic crimson and with “Batwoman” etched into it. I can only remember one other time where Koto included the character name on the base of one of their character statues and that was Powergirl. Either way, I like it a lot.

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Batwoman is another superb addition to this line and I’m actually surprised by how she’s shot straight up to the top of my favorites list. Maybe not the tippy top, but she’s definitely up there among the winners circle and with 26 of these on my shelf, that’s no small feat. I was able to grab her for around $55, which is a little under retail and right in that sweet spot where I think I’m getting an incredible value. With several new Bishoujo pieces out there right now for me to pick up, I was considering setting Ms. Kane as a low priority, but now that I have her in hand I’m certainly glad I didn’t.

Marvel: Jubilee Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’ve never been a big fan of the Jubilee character. She was annoying as hell in the otherwise enjoyable animated X-Men series from 1992 and I guess that has unfortunately forever stained her character in my eyes. That’s OK, though, because I don’t have to be in love with a character to appreciate when Koto gives them the Bishoujo treatment and in this case I found myself actually excited to get my hands on this statue. After all, if I can find room on my shelf for Kitty Pryde, why not Jubilee?

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As usual, the statue comes in a white window box that features some gorgeous artwork from Shunya Yamashita and some pictures of the statue itself.  The “Coming Soon” teaser on the back is She-Hulk, which is the first comic-related Bishoujo that I’m passing on. There’s’ just something about her face that is off-putting for me. Maybe if she turns up for cheap I’ll give her a try. Anyway, inside the box, the figure is secured between two clear plastic trays and the only assembly required is pegging her into the base and deciding which glasses to put on her head. Not much else to say here, so let’s dig right in.

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Egads, there’s so much to love here, I don’t know where to begin. First off, the pose is great. Jubilee is standing with legs apart, her left hand stretched out to one side and her right hand drawn upward as if ready to unleash a fireworks show. Actually, I get a chuckle because if you put a microphone in her right hand it would look like she was doing an Elvis impersonation. I would have expected something a little more frivolous and playful for this character, but I do like what we got quite a bit. It’s definitely a mugged shot, but you still get a hint of energy.

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The outfit hits all the familiar points of Jubilee’s costume only diminished quite a bit, because skimpy outfits and Bishoujo go so well together. she’s wearing blue and white high top sneakers, a pair of teeny blue shorts with a belt slung low on her hips, a very small and tight tube top and her trademark yellow jacket, which has been cut in half. While there isn’t a whole lot to her outfit, what is here is packed with great detail. The sneakers feature individually sculpted and painted laces, with the top laces undone, and I really like how the legs actually disappear into the sneakers. It adds a lot of credibility and they don’t just look like part of the sculpt. The shorts feature all the wrinkles and stitching and the belt buckle is a well-defined “X” with another “X” pinned to her chest. The belt is actually sculpted in place, but I think it would have been neat if it was just left to hang loose.

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The jacket looks exceptionally good. It’s bright, glossy yellow and I love the way it whips up around her, complete with that stylish 90’s high collar and bunched up sleeves. Jubilee also features a black arm wrap on her left arm and some bangles and a black featureless glove on her right. The paint on her costume doesn’t miss a beat and, as always, the high gloss paint contrasts beautifully with the softer tones of her skin. There’s a constant war on my Bishoujo shelves between the forces of color and darkness Jubilee will definitely help balance out the color among some of the darker decos like Storm, X-23, Black Widow, and the like.

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The portrait here is nothing short of fantastic. It’s almost a shame that because of the angle of her head you need to be at eye level or lower to really appreciate how great Jubilee’s face turned out. The paint on the eyes and lips are perfect and she’s very pretty. The short hair is sculpted in layers and is certainly one of the more complex hair sculpts I’ve seen out of this line. The portrait is rounded out nicely by a pair of earrings and a choker collar with a pink “X” pendant hanging down. Right now, I’d have to say this ranks as one of my favorite Bishoujo portraits to date.

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You get two pairs of sunglasses, one rectangular futuristic style and one regular. Swapping them out is as easy as slipping them on and off of her head. I haven’t quite decided which ones to go with, but since changing them is so easy, I may just do a swap every now and again. The glasses are the only place on the statue where the paint is anything less than perfect. The pink paint is a little uneven on the rims and you do get a couple of flecks of pink on the glass itself, but nothing too bad.

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But minor paint flubs not withstanding, if there’s one place where this statue falters a bit for me it’s the base. Jubilee comes on a simple clear plastic disc base, nothing new there, but in this case it’s been yellowed and has sparkles added. It casts some interesting colors when viewed from some angles, but most of the time it just reminds me of old, yellowed plastic, which is probably the opposite of the look they were going for here. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but I do wish they had gone a different route. I tend to waver on the clear plastic stands, but I would have definitely preferred it to what we got here.

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And so Koto has worked their magic on me again, proving that I don’t even need a strong attachment to the character to appreciate the beautiful design and workmanship they put into these pieces. Jubilee is actually the 25th Bishoujo statue on my shelf, and 26 is already sitting in the corner waiting to be opened. It’s hard for me to think of a line that has been as consistently exceptional as this one.  As for price, it took me a little while to find this statue for under $60 and even then it was only by a few dollars. I fear the days of snagging Bishoujos for under that mark are almost behind us. That’s not to say I don’t still find good value in these pieces, but with Kotobukiya seeming to ramp up production these days, it gets more expensive to keep up. And considering that I’ve suffered the penalty of not keeping up before (crazy after-market prices), the pressure is on to pick these up as soon as they come out if I’m going to keep satiating my Bishoujo fix.

Street Fighter: Juri Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

Can this be? Has it really been four months since I last looked at one of Koto’s Bishoujo statues? Yes, I’m ashamed to say that is indeed the case and I am woefully behind on this little obsession of mine. I feel that Koto is partly to blame because they have really been upping the ante and releasing these things like crazy. I need to start scrambling to get caught up before the ones I missed start rising on the second-hand market, which is already the case with at least one of them. Anywho, back in March I checked out the lovely Julia Chang from their Tekken line, now we’re going back over to the Capcom side of the fence to look at Juri from Street Fighter!

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Aww, yeah. We all know what to expect from this packaging by now. You get a window box, which gives you a little tease at what’s inside and a lot of great artwork from Shunya Yamashita. While the comic book statues come in white boxes, Koto has been releasing the video game pieces in these black ones. I’m still partial to the white, just because it’s a cleaner look and makes the artwork pop a little more. But hey, who’s complaining? Not me, because I got a new Bishoujo to open up. Let’s do it!

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Juri comes already attached to her stand and ready to go, although she can be removed from it if you want to. Once I got her out of the box, my first reaction was… Holy crap, look at those boobs! Actually, I meant to say that I was impressed with the size of this piece. The last couple Bishoujo’s I opened were from the Tekken series and those are scaled a bit smaller. In contrast, this is one big and beautiful figure!

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While both Chun-Li and Cammy are caught in mid action poses, I think Juri looks more like she’s posing for the “camera.” The box suggests she’s readying for a kick, but I don’t get that kind of energy from the composition here. That is not in any way a complaint, mind you, just an observation. Truth be told, I think this is a fantastic pose and I’m particularly fond of when Koto can get their statues to balance like this. Juri stands balanced on the toes of her left foot with her right leg drawn up at the knee, one hand on her hip and the other held aloft as if to say, “behold my bad ass sexiness!” Ooooh yeah!

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Juri’s outfit includes her puffy pants, a long belt, which bellows out at her side and a a rather revealing top that just amounts to a breast plate with a bunch of straps running to her back to make up a bitchin’ spider motif. Funny, I don’t remember Juri being quite so well endowed in the game, but she’s positively busting out of her top here. She’s also sporting some sleeves, finger-less gloves and spiked bracelets.

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The portrait here is a beautiful piece of work. Juri has a rather sly look as she glances off to the side and licks her lips. She seriously looks like she’s about to relish kicking the shit out of someone. The eyes are absolutely gorgeous and they did a wonderful job recreating her distinctive hairstyle.

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The coloring on this piece feels a little muted compared to most Bish statues, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s certainly in character. I think the fact that there’s no glossy aspects to her clothing is a big part of that. Instead of getting that contrast between the soft skin and the sheen of the clothes, everything is soft. The pallet is even a little more limited, with basically just black purple and gray. You do get a little bit of sheen on her belt buckle, her gloves, and the nail polish on her fingers and toes.

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As with the previous Street Fighter statues, Juri comes on a clear disc stand with a choice of two inserts. One has the Street Fighter logo and the other a piece of Shunya Yamashita’s character art on which this statue was based. I’ve gone on plenty about how I’m torn over these clear bases. On the one hand, they look nice and don’t detract from the figure, on the other hand, they show fingerprints really easily and the bottoms have a tendency to fall out when you pick them up.

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And to the great surprise of absolutely no one, I’m in love with yet another one of Koto’s magnificent Bishoujo statues. Considering how iconic Chun-Li and Cammy are, it’s no small feat to say that Juri can easily hold her own on the shelf next to her fellow game gals and with Sakura and Poison coming up next, I expect great things to continue for this sub-line. Now, I just have to backtrack and pick up the ones I missed, like Jun Kazama and Nina Williams from Tekken, oh and I think Anna Williams is shipping soon. And Batwoman and Jubilee… good grief!

Tekken: Asuka Kazama Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

A couple weeks back I featured Jaycee from Koto’s Tekken Bishoujo line and lamented the fact that I had to start grabbing the discontinued Tekken ladies up before they get too pricey on the secondary market. Asuka was one of the ones that I really wanted when she was released but I had so many other things vying for my dollars I had to put her off and she was rapidly beginning to climb out of the price range ($100+) that I am comfortable paying for these gals. I try not to resort to Ebay for my Bishoujos, especially if they’re not new, but this was a case where I had to take an opportunity and nab her when I could. Luckily she was still boxed and in excellent condition.

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And speaking of boxes, there’s Asuka’s packaging. It’s very similar to what we saw with Jaycee and Christie Monteiro before her. The box is mostly black as opposed to the white Koto uses for the comic based characters. You get some great shots of the statue as well as the beautiful artwork that inspired it. While Asuka originally hails from Tekken 5, this particular piece is based on her appearance in TekkenTag Tournament 2 and features the game’s logo on the box. The back of the box shows a teaser for the next statue, which happens to be Jaycee, the one I looked at last time. As I said, this statue came to me second hand and despite being a little shelfworn, the box is in pretty good shape. Asuka requires no assembly, nor does she come with any extra bits or bobs. You just take her out of the box, unwrap the plastic, and she’s ready for display.

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I absolutely love the simplicity of this piece and the fact that it in no way sacrifices any of the sexy flash that I’ve come to expect from my Bishoujo statues. Asuka’s brash, arrogant, and playful style is wonderfully conveyed as she throws her hip to the side, winks and offers up a salute. Even if you knew nothing about Ms. Kazama, this pose would tell you everything about her personality. I often go back and forth over whether I prefer my Bishoujo poses to be “action shots”or just shameless mugging for the camera, but this one certainly champions the later.

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The previous Tekken statues that I featured here on FFZ showcased some pretty crazy and complex outfits, but Asuka’s couldn’t be further from that trend. Her one-piece (for lack of a better term) is zipped down to the belt and cast off behind her to reveal just her sporty bikini top, which ironically also has its own zipper, which is also zipped down to the bottom. This is a good news, bad news scenario, folks. If you’re an ass-man, Asuka ain’t gonna do much for you because of that damn jacket. If cleavage is your game, however, Asuka certainly came to play. Proportionally speaking, Asuka probably has more covering her arms and legs than anywhere else. She sports a set of boots with shin pads and fingerless gloves with elbow pads.

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The coloring offers up some blue, gray, white, a little teal and black. I find it to be a pleasing pallet, although while there’s a nice bit of gloss to Ms. Kazama top, you don’t get that same contrast of high gloss latex and soft skin tones that characterize so many of Koto’s Bishoujo line. The skin tone’s here, on the other hand, are executed particularly well. The use of shading on her midriff, neck, and cleavage all looks fantastic.

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The portrait here follows suit with being rather simple and yet so good. Koto usually likes to go crazy with long windblown hair, and Asuka’s rather short coif robbed them of the opportunity here. That’s OK, though, I dig the short haircut and they still managed to get in that tapered transparent look that they love so much. With one eye closed and the other shrouded by hair, you don’t get the same clarity of peepers on this statue as most, but I’m still in love with this portrait.

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As is par for the course, Asuka comes on a clear disk stand, which can be opened and customized with different art transparencies or just left blank. As I bought this statue second hand, mine only came with one transparency, but I doubt there was anything that I would have chosen to display her with over this wonderful piece of art. It’s nice to know that if I ever get tired of looking at the boobs on the statue, I can look at the ones on the base art. Who loves ya, kids? Kotobukiya does! [I actually didn’t notice until after I shot the pictures that the previous owner of the statue put all three transparencies into the base. If you look closely, you can see the signature overlay and the title overlay under the character art overlay. 10 Points to me for getting all three included, but minus 100 points for being too stupid to notice! -FFZ]

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I’m always thrilled to add a new Bishoujo statue to my collection, but this was a special case because not owning Asuka was beginning to worry me, and that brings me to the subject of cost. This is usually the part of the feature where I say what a great value the Bishoujo statues are, and in fairness, when Asuka first hit the shelves at an MSRP of around $60, she was indeed a great value. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find her selling new for under $100, although in fairness she is close to three years old now. I grabbed mine from a good home on Ebay for about $85 shipped, and I still manage to feel like I got a pretty solid deal, especially considering I spend about that same amount for DC Collectible’s cold cast porcelain Cover Girls, and I’d readily debate that Koto’s pieces are nearly always superior. Either way, I can’t put a price on peace of mind, and knowing that Asuka is finally on my shelf does indeed give me plenty of that.

Tekken: Jaycee Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been neglecting Kotobukiya’s Tekken series of Bishoujo statues. It hasn’t been intentional, but Koto is releasing so many of these damned things that I have to have prioritize. When I’m presented with characters from Marvel, DC, and now Street Fighter, Tekken has fallen down toward the bottom of the list. I have been trying to remedy that recently, especially with some of these statues starting to creep up in value on the secondary market. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have picked up Christie Monteiro when she first came out as now she’s commanding upward of $180 in some reselling circles. I was crazy into Tekken 3 and 4 back in the day, but I have long since stopped following the franchise with any real gusto. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to pick up the statues and that brings us to today’s feature, Bishoujo Jaycee. I believe Julia Chang first appeared in 2012’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a game that is sitting on my shelf, but hasn’t spent a lot of time in my PS3. Needless to say I’m not all that familiar with the character, but she’s a Bishoujo Tekken gal and that’s good enough for me.

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The box is right in line with all of Koto’s Bishoujo offerings. You get a big window in the front and smaller windows on the top and side panel to let some light in. You can get a little peek at the statue inside, and in this case the extra pieces that come with Jaycee. Unlike the predominantly white boxes used for the Marvel and DC statues, Koto has opted to go with a black deco for the Tekken pieces. Finally, you get some gorgeous artwork by Shunya Yamashiti and the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 logo on the front and back. It’s a fairly westernized box with most of the text appearing in English.

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Jaycee comes more or less assembled and ready to go. She is attached to her base, although she is removable if you so desire. Her pony tail has to be pegged into the back of her head and I had a wee bit of difficulty getting it to peg in, but I eventually got there. Aside from the alternate masked portrait, which we’ll get to in a little bit, she has a mask, which she can hold in her right hand or be placed on the base and it’s is a very nice accessory if you choose to go with the unmasked portrait. And with all that out of the way, let’s see how she looks…

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Oh yeah, I can dig it! Jaycee has a very specific pose, which in turn is clearly intended to be viewed from a specific angle. Some may be put off by that, but there’s something to be said for having that one intended sweet spot in a statue’s composition. In this case, she’s best viewed slightly from behind with her head turned and looking over her right shoulder. If a nice tushie is your thing, you shouldn’t have a problem with the view. She has a very wide stance, standing up on her toes, left hand proudly planted on her hip, and her ponytail flowing outward in the breeze. The pose lends itself to the artwork very well, but that’s not to say it isn’t worthwhile to check her out from all the other angles, because a lot of beautiful work went into her costume.

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Hailing from Arizona, Jaycee’s Southwestern flare is represented in her luchador costume. In this case, it’s more like luchador lingerie with a pinch of S&M thrown in. Her delightfully skimpy one-piece is held on by leather straps and yet it’s also laced up the back with some feathery, frilly bits around the shoulders. Her long gloves include straps around her wrists and a pair of generous elbow guards. The outfit is rounded out by a pair of thigh-high boots and holy crap it must take her forever to lace those babies up! The coloring on the costume makes for a very striking piece. You get a pearlescent silver mixed with purple and some blue piping and a little black thrown in for good measure. Most of the costume has a subtle glossy finish to it, which contrasts nicely with the soft matte tones of her skin.

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You do indeed get two portraits with the statue, masked and unmasked. I’ll probably be going with the unmasked look most of the time, which was my focus for most of the pictures. Why? Mainly because this way you can see her face and also see the mask as she’s holding it. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. She has a pretty face with the usual soft features and her big, beautiful eyes are a gorgeous amber color. The only thing that throws me a bit is the darker red paint on her bottom lip. It looks to me like she’s sticking her tongue out, but I think it’s just supposed to be a little pouty. As usual, Koto works their magic with the hair by having it gradually turn transparent toward the edges, an effect that I always appreciate.

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When you swap the head, you do have to swap the ponytail too, which worked a lot better for me the second time around. The exposed parts of her face are a good match for the other head and the wild design of the mask coupled with the same silver, purple, and blue does a nice job of balancing out the costume. Jaycee really does look great with her mask on and this may be a statue that I wind up actually swapping out the head every so often.

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Koto has been using clear bases for their Tekken and Street Fighter statues and Jaycee is no exception. The bottom of the base can be pulled out and you can customize your statue with your choice of the included transparent inserts. You get a signature insert and two with character art, one masked and one unmasked. As long as I’m going with the unmasked head, I’ll probably go with the masked artwork just to mix things up. I’ve been warming up to using the fan art for these because I think it really dresses up the base and compliments the statue beautifully. As for the clear plastic bases, they do tend to show scratches easily, which is disappointing. When I removed my Christie Montiero to shoot with Jaycee, I noticed some scratches on the bottom of her base and that piece has done nothing but stand on my shelf and get picked up every now and again to be admired.

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And so here we have another great effort by Koto. Jaycee’s design and sculpt are fantastic and the paintwork is pretty much flawless. I believe Jaycee was the fourth release in Koto’s Tekken sub-series, but as I mentioned earlier, she’s only my second. I was lucky enough to grab Jaycee at her original retail of around fifty bucks and getting her on my shelf has given me just the push I needed to start picking up the rest of the Tekken gals before they start creeping any higher in price. I’ve targeted Asuka for my next purchase, as she’s already commanding upward of $100 in a lot of circles and based solely on the promotional images and reviews I’ve seen, I’ve just got to have her!

The Avengers: Iron Man ArtFX+ Statue by Kotobukiya

This is finally it… Kotobukiya’s ArtFX+ Avengers have finally assembled with the release of the final statue, Iron Man. I’ve been loving each and every piece in this line, but I was getting really excited to finally get the team on display together. Iron Man was available in two decos. You could go for the comic accurate black and gold Marvel NOW! version or the more traditional red and gold variant. I’m actually a fan of the black and gold look, and if this was a stand-alone piece, I probably would have gone for that one. In the end, I picked up the variant only because with Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Thor sporting so much black I wanted to add a little more color to the team display.

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I don’t really have anything new to say about the package. It’s a colorful and attractive fully enclosed box that protects the goods really well and looks damn nice on the shelf. I also dig the fact that the variant is what’s actually pictured on the box. Sometimes these things will simply be denoted with a sticker. Inside are two clear plastic trays securing all the parts to build Iron Man, including the torso, head, and all four limbs. Everything fits together snugly and I had no issues assembling my figure.

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Koto has been quite conservative with the composition of these statues going more for iconic character poses rather than originality and Iron Man is certainly no exception. He stands with his right arm stretched out about to fire off a blast from his palm repulsor. He has a moderately wide stance and his left arm is balled up into a fist. Sure, we’ve seen Stark in this pose a thousand times, but I still love it and I think it’s particularly effective for a statue meant to be displayed with the entire Avengers team.

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I’m also a fan of the style of this Marvel NOW! armor. I can see a lot of influences in it and in a way it strikes me as a more angular Extremis armor with the circular chest repulsor (my favorite) as opposed to the triangle. It features all the necessary segmentation between the plates and rather than go with a bunch of panel lines, the plates themselves are smooth and featureless giving it a very pleasing comic book vibe.

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Koto rarely skimps on the paint quality, so it should be no surprise that Iron Man features a gorgeous coat of metallic red paint with gold metallic trim. The paint lines are clean and precise and there’s just a few very minor blemishes that I could spot under close scrutiny. The one area where the coloring on this piece isn’t all it could be are the repulsors on the chest and hips. These appear to be stickers and aren’t terribly convincing. They look rather Hasbro-ish to me, which is a tad disappointing in a fifty dollar collectors piece. Oddly enough, this is one the rarer instances where I think they look better in pictures than in person.

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As always, you get the simple black square base. It’s metal and designed to work with the magnets in the statues feet. You can adjust him anywhere you want on the base or even connect the bases together and have him straddle two of them. Of course, Iron Man can stand just fine on his own too.

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With the team all assembled, I have to say I’m so very glad that I started down this road last year. While any of these statues would work just fine as stand-alone pieces, nothing beats having them displayed together and Koto designed them with that in mind. There are a few ways to go when displaying the set, but I used the lineup on the back of the boxes as a guide and I think it looks pretty damn great. And they look all the better lined up on the shelf right above my ArtFX+ Justice League!

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At $50, Iron Man is second only to The Hulk in price and about ten bucks more than I paid for the others. The main reason I paid so much for Iron Man was because I was worried about limitation on the variant so I pre-ordered rather than shop around for a deal. That still seems to be the going price, but that’s subject to change after he’s been out for a little bit and as of now you can still grab all of these statues at or below their original MSRP if you hunt around. Forty to forty-five bucks is definitely the sweet spot for me and these ArtFX+ statues, but I don’t mind going over now and again if I have to because they are indeed awesome display pieces. It’ll be a little while before I revisit the Marvel ArtFX+ collection, but when I do it will be with none other than Deadpool!